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DeSantis rallies votes in Cape Coral

October 8, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis gathered a group of supporters at the campaign Victory Office in Cape Coral Saturday morning, as part of a meet-and-greet series of appearances throughout the day in Southwest Florida.

DeSantis was joined by wife, Casey, and their two young children, as well as running mate Jeanette Nunez, Rep. Byron Donalds and Congressman Matt Gaetz.

"Ron is the best leader we have today," Donalds told the crowd of around 75 supporters.

He urged them to spread the word for DeSantis, on what will be a tight campaign.

Gaetz got the crowd fired up with his booming voice and high energy, backing DeSantis and voicing his displeasures with Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum.

"There are two very different visions for the State of Florida in your choice of governor," he said.

Those differences, according to Gaetz, will be in education, the economy and rules of law.

Many of the speakers pointed to what they say is the extremely high crime rate in Tallahassee, where Gillum is mayor, and that if he can't keep that city safe, how will he be able to keep Florida safe.

"Tallahassee is the murder capitol of Florida," Gaetz said. "We should call him Andrew Kill'um."

Nunez spoke of the work ethic of DeSantis, saying his vision will move the state forward.

"Ron understands how important environmental issues are," she said, which drew a positive response from the Cape Coral crowd.

"I'm on a mission to protect Florida's future for the next generation, and this election is a big part of doing that. And if we doing do it, I think Florida's future is at risk," DeSantis said.

He said he is the only fiscally conservative candidate, and is not under FBI investigation, a poke at Gillum.

"We have to win the election because as governor, I'll be able to protect Florida's economic momentum," said DeSantis.

He stated that the unemployment rate is drastically down and that people are coming to Florida to do business and we're creating jobs.

"I think this is really just the beginning of what we're capable of doing - if, you have the right policies. But you can't run and implement, like my opponent wants to do - a 40 percent tax increase," said DeSantis.

The Republican choice for governor said he will never want an income tax for Florida - something he claims Gillum would love to do.

"Higher taxes for you, and more benefits for him. I don't think so," DeSantis said.

He wants to solidify Florida as a low-tax state.

"Let's protect Florida's economic future," he said.

Water quality will be a top priority for Lee County voters next month, and DeSantis believes he is the best person for the job.

"I've been willing to do things which few other members have done in Florida politics - stand up to Big Sugar and other big industries and basically say, 'We've got to get this right,'" he said.

The economy has been damaged in communities like Cape Coral, DeSantis said, and that there needs to be clear protocol and standards for water.

"We're going to work with the Army Corps of Engineers, and I'll work with the White House on this," he said. "They need to start doing things a little bit differently. They can let the water go down more in the lake, and so that when it's raining they don't have to discharge the water, or discharge as much of it. Ultimately the solution is going to be, you need to take that water and not discharge it at all. Clean it south of the lake and discharge it to the Everglades."

He plans to accelerate the plans for the reservoir south of Lake O, which he said will pass this year.

"I don't want to wait 10 or 20 years. They have to get it done as soon as possible. There's a sense of urgency," he said.

DeSantis made remarks about how Gillum is running on the idea that he wants to impeach President Donald Trump, something he found comical.

He told the crowd that Gillum is the one under FBI investigation, and said, "Maybe we should impeach Andrew as Mayor of Tallahassee," he said, to a big cheer from those gathered.

The FBI began conducting an undercover probe in Tallahassee in 2015 and subsequently issued numerous subpoenas. The FBI has not revealed either the subject or target or targets of its investigation.

DeSantis closed with how Florida's military footprint is important to him, being a veteran himself, and that border control is not something to take lightly.

"Florida will not be a sanctuary state or have sanctuary cities," said DeSantis. "I think we all want a leader, rather than left wing ideology."



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